With the recent release of Chapter 1082, we learn through Buggy that Shanks was a pirate apprentice with a great deal of potential and his sights set on the One Piece. However, we also learn in the very same chapter that he decides not to go for it right away. Now this may leave readers wondering why this is the case. I believe I have found the reason why.
If we remember back to the Oden flashback in Wano, we learned of a prophecy that spoke of two sovereigns being born, one that would surpass even Roger.
Notably this prophecy was given by the Sea Kings, and they noted that they hoped it would go well this time. This prophecy I believe ties in with the fishman legend that another like Joy Boy would eventually lead Poseidon and change the world.
We also learn that Roger is too early to claim the One Piece, and he postulates that perhaps his son will be the one to find it in the future (despite having no such heir).
Now you may be wondering how this all ties back to Shanks. I believe this is the reason for Shanks’s crying in this panel, as I believe Shanks wanted to be the one to fulfill Roger’s dream and was crushed when he learned he was born too early to do so.
This moment is additionally implied to be related to Roger’s dream in the Road to Laugh Tale Databook.
So to recap so far, I believe that Shanks was upset that he would be unable to achieve Roger’s will (which is possibly Joy Boy’s original goal as well) due to him being born too early.
So we cut to about a decade after Roger’s execution. Shanks is in the East Blue with a certain treasure in his possession. The Gum Gum Fruit, or as we now know it, the Human Human Fruit Mythical Model: Sun God Nika. There he encounters a boy named Luffy who tells him of his big dreams and eats the “gum gum” fruit by mistake. However, I believe it was no mistake. As we know, Zoan fruits have a will of their own, and I believe it was the will of this fruit that chose it’s wielded to be Luffy.
I believe that Shanks was in this sea looking for this generations Joy Boy. I believe he may have been searching for Roger’s son but instead found Luffy, a boy who’s very dream mirrors Roger’s and brings him to tears. And as such, he decided to bet Roger’s will not on of Roger, but on the new wielder of the Nika fruit, and as a symbol of this passing of will he gave Luffy Roger’s treasured straw hat.
Now on to why Shanks has done this. I believe that in order to fully claim the one piece both Poseidon and Joy Boy have to be in some way involved. Maybe it even has to do with the promise Joy Boy made to the fishmen all those years ago.
Now why do I believe this? Well, first of all Roger believe he was too early, and was inquiring about when Poseidon would be born. The stronger part of this belief, however, comes from Shanks stating his intention to claim the One Piece.
This scene is awesome, however I believe it also will have a massive impact on the narrative of the series. Before we get to this, however, we should discuss when Luffy is called Joy Boy.
This is said by Zunesha after Luffy awakens the Nika fruit, unlocking Gear 5. And when did Shanks say he would get the One Piece? Only after seeing Luffy’s bounty poster in Gear 5 and remembering the time he stole the seemingly useless fruit from the CP9 ship..
So now I have established that I believe Shanks was looking for the Joy Boy of his era in order for the One Piece to be claimed. However, I don’t think he is just going to lead Luffy to the One Piece and make him the Pirate King. In fact, I believe the opposite. I think that now that Joy Boy and Poseidon are present in the same era once again, that Luffy will complete whatever steps are necessary in order to claim the One Piece. Once this has been done, I believe that Shanks will attempt to fight Luffy to actually claim the One Piece. Perhaps this will even be a large scale conflict between all of the Yonkou crews.
Regardless of speculation of the end of One Piece, I believe that Shanks took all of these steps deliberately in order to set up a scenario in which the One Piece would actually be able to be claimed.
I know this is a bit of a long read, but I’m curious to see what y’all think.
*Theory by JoyboyShanks